Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I won't lie and say that I am sad it is over- but I will tell you that I am beyond thankful for what the Lord has taught our family from this experience.
One of the neatest 'gifts' God gave us during this experience was the sweet emails of encouragement from blogging friends along the way. I cannot tell you how much that support meant to us. I cannot tell you how much it mean to me to hear about or read about other families who were right in there with us -doing all that they could to try to make a difference in the life of a child.
Yesterday I received the most precious gift from a sweet girl (Thanks Jillian!!) who told me about her experience in Lusaka, Zambia this past summer and the orphanage she visited there. She shared a picture of some of the children sitting down to a meal of - you guess it, beans and rice. Here is a little bit of what she wrote:
"the children joyfully accept their plates as they received only one meal each day. They would do their curtsy of appreciation and eagerly take their plates-which generally consisted of beans and rice." This month our family was able to save $500.00 for the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund simply by eating a simple meal of beans and rice for dinner. I learned so many thing from this experience- but more than anything, when I look at this picture and see these beautiful children of God eating a plate of beans and rice- I cannot help but feel that God's hands were all over this experience.
Lord, thank you for the things you have taught me, for the ways you make me aware of those in need around me. There is nothing I desire more Lord than to please you. Life is too short to live any other way but wisely. Forgive me for the times I have wasted opportunities in places where I could have been your hands and feet. I choose to spend my days in work that honors you and in furthering your Kingdom.
Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Kaden is in the shopping cart and I proceed to the check out counter with my two items.
Placing my items on the counter I am completely unaware of the conversation I am about to encounter.
Clerk: "So, you babysitting?"
Me: "Nope"- looking down, fumbling in my purse on purpose hoping that she will quickly finish so we can leave.
Clerk: "I was going to say, boy does he have his daddy's jeans- and then some."
Dude behind me in line gasps.
Me: '"I was going to say THAT is probably none of your business."
(Seriously, that just popped out of my mouth, typically I am NOT that bold)
Clerk: (Oblivious to the fact that I now have steam coming out of my ears) "So, how old is he- one?"
Me: (Clearly not a happy camper)"No, he is almost three."
Clerk: "Oh I have a nephew who is 22 months... but he's white."
This time me and the dude behind me gasp.
I take my change and walk away.
Clerk: "Have a nice day!"
So yep, I went home and called the store manager and made him aware of the conversation that took place between me and his employee. He apologized over and over and said it was plain stupidity on her part- plus none of her business. I told him that was exactly what I was thinking.
You know, most of the time, I LOVE teaching people about adoption. I love sharing how God has blessed us through these precious children. I could talk for hours on end about how our lives have changed for the better all because of the miracle of adoption. Yet there are other times- like when I am in a check out line for all of 30 seconds with two items, that I just get plain worn out from the stupidity. I knew that there wasn't time to educate her on adoption (and I am sure the poor people in line behind me didn't have all day either). But for my childrens sake, and for the the sake of the next transracially adopted child that comes through her line- I sure hope her manager did.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I pretty much figured by day 28 we would most definitely be feeling like we were ready for this bean and rice challenge to be over.
28 days of eating beans and rice for dinner- enough said.
But what I didn’t expect however was the feeling of guilt that would come along with that.
Guilt that in just 2 days I wouldn’t have to eat another bean or bowl of rice for as long as I lived if I choose… and the guilt that I have that choice.
Guilt that after this little ‘challenge’ was over that I could go on with my life, open up the frig and prepare whatever served our fancy.
Guilt that I could make a quick trip to the grocery store and throw whatever we pleased into our carts.
3 meals a day.
It breaks my heart that we had such a small taste of what more than half of the worlds populations lives every day- if they are even that lucky, and we thought it was challenging.
It makes me sick to my stomach that we turn up our noses and say we are tired of eating a dish that most people feel fortunate enough to get- even once a day.
It makes me sad that we are that spoiled- and I honestly hadn’t even realized it before.
It makes me feel embarrassed that our challenge has almost come to an end…
Yet their has not.
Before, I thought I was being frugal to clip coupons.
I was proud of myself when I found recipes for meals that would feed my family for just $5.00.
Did you know that $5.00 could feed about 35 children one meal in
So today, I am not feeling what I expected to feel- thankful to never eat another plate of beans and rice, thankful that it is almost over.
Instead I am feeling like what I really want to do is much, much more.
Please show me Lord. Show me how.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I have a confession to make.
I hate not being perfect.
I know hate is a strong word- but it’s the one that fits.
Now that it’s out in the open- let me explain.
And I make them often.
I am not a perfect mother.
I am not a perfect wife.
I am not a perfect friend.
I am not a perfect blogger.
And I hate that.
I hate hurting the people I love.
I hate disappointing people.
I want to be perfect and never say something I shouldn't.
I don't ever want to have a short temper.
I want to be able to do it all, accomplish it all- perfectly.
I want to make everyone happy- all the time.
I want to bring smiles to peoples faces, make their lives better- and be there for them at any given moment.
I don’t want to say things without thinking and hurt feelings.
I don’t ever want to make someone feel unwanted, unworthy or unloved .
I want to have the answers to every problem.
I want to be able to give to every cause that I believe in.
I want there to be enough in the Pass it Forward Adoption Fund to give to every adoptive family.
I hate that sometimes, truth be told, my heart is ugly.
I don’t like that sometimes I move forward without really thinking things through, without considering the consequences.
I don’t like that sometimes I don’t give the same grace to others as I want them to give to me.
I don’t like that often times I do not forgive quickly, yet want others to quickly forgive me.
But I am learning… learning to accept that I cannot be perfect no matter how hard I try. And learning to forgive myself when I am not. Learning that I can’t win ‘em all- and that I won’t always succeed. Learning that I can’t please everyone all the time, and realizing it is not my job to do so. Bottom line, failure is a part of life. Humans fail.
Which is why I am so thankful that I serve a perfect God.
Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
Typically our celebration would include an over abundance of all of our favorite Guatemalan dishes. Tonight though we will enjoy rice and beans (and Mya's special celebration cake) we will reflect on our time spent in Guatemala 3 years ago.
We will also be in prayer for all of the children who are still waiting in Guatemala-and their families who are longing to celebrate their first Gotcha Day.
Lord, wrap your loving arms around these precious people.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I love sharing some behind the scene stories that come in with the donations for the Pass It forward adoption fund. While I don’t always know the story behind every donation, when I do get to hear even a little bit of the it- I am so deeply touched. God is so good.
Several times now I have received donations from families who are in the adoption process themselves.
Did you catch that?
They themselves are doing all they can to SAVE- fund raising, going without, cutting back- to bring a child home.
Yet they still give.
They still know that God, in all his glory, is BIG ENOUGH to cover it ALL.
They still understand that even though they don’t have the answers of how they could possibly raise that amount of money themselves-they are to give. What a beautiful picture of true faith.
For you see- the adoption journey cannot be about ONE child finding their way home-but about EVERY child finding their way home.
The whole purpose behind the Pass It Forward adoption Fund is that it wasn’t just about MY family. It wasn’t about MY family being blessed by someone else and therefore having the money to adopt. It wasn’t about MY family and the child WE would bring home. It is about ALL OF THE CHILDREN and families who are willing and waiting.
I truly believe with all of my heart that by pulling together for one cause more can be accomplished then I ever thought possible.
I realize that many times we already feel so stretched we do not see how we could possibly give any more.
How about eating beans and rice even one meal a week if you already are not- and then passing on what you saved to another family who is trying to adopt?
Do you have any talents? Can you sew perhaps? How about making something and selling it on eBay, etsy or craigs list and passing the money you make onto someone else trying to adopt?
Perhaps you could clean out your closets and have a garage sale and give the proceeds to another family who is trying to bring a child home.
Don’t have time for a garage sale? How about bringing a pickle jar to work with you and setting it next to vending machine? How about asking your coworkers to jump on board and help your pickle jar overfloweth.
Don’t have a vending machine- consider bringing candy bars and selling them for $1.00 to collect money for a families adoption.
The possibilities are endless… but if all of us just do something- give or give up something- our time, our talents, our resources- just one small sacrifice- we can make a HUGE difference in the lives of a child.
One thing I have always loved and admired in particular about the Hispanic community is how they are known to pull together- and do life together. A friend of mine and I were talking about how often times when there is a wedding in the Hispanic community, the families all pitch in and create the most beautiful, most amazing wedding because everyone gets involved. One family member is in charge of the cake, another family member is in charge of decorations, etc, etc. What a beautiful picture of God’s love and what a beautiful statement of what it’s all really about. Can you image if we all lived like that? If we all pulled together and helped carry each other through? I'd love to see the adoption community do just that.
So often times we are conditioned to believe that we have to do it all on our own. That we shouldn’t need anyone else’s help. We shouldn't ask for help because that would be admitting we are weak. And yet the bible points out over and over that we are to come along side our brothers and sisters. That we are ALL a part of the body and the body cannot work properly without all of the parts working together.
So no matter who you are, where you are, if you are adopting or have a heart for adoption- can I encourage you to jump on board NOW.
Do something- anything.
Give up something, get creative, offer your help, your prayers, your encouragement- and I promise you that you too will be blessed.
Trust me, with 147 million orphans in this world –it’s going to take us all- together.
Sitting in the waiting room I can feel the stares-the looks, the questions- almost written all over their face. For some reason they really don’t even try to pretend they are not staring- for some reason they seem to think it’s okay.
Thankfully, I hear the nurse call my name, I quickly take Kadens hand and we head down the long, hollow sounding hallway. Entering our 'private suite' as I like to think of it, I climb as gracefully as you can up onto the examining table. Right away I spy the cold, sterile stir ups sticking out of the ends of table and I silently send up a prayer thanking God I am not here for that today. The paper crinkles beneath me as I try my best to position myself on the table.
Kaden heads for the empty chair in the corner of the room and begins to dumb the contents of the backpack I brought for him to entertain himself while I talk with the doctor. As I remind him not to eat his fruit chews off the floor, the nurse knocks on the door, and swiftly enters the room-as the words ‘come in’ are barely leaving my lips.
Now if you are a transracial adoptive mommy go ahead and play along with me- bet you and can pretty much fill in the blanks of how the conversation goes...
Nurse- “Oh wow, you are babysitting today and you don’t feel good?”
Me- “No, I’m not babysitting- he is my son”
Me- “Yes he sure is”.
Nurse – (still looking lost…begins in silence to take my blood pressure).
Me-(knowing in my head that I do not owe her any more explanation but not feeling like dealing with the awkwardness I reluctantly explain) “We are an adoptive family.”
Nurse- (who’s face appears as if the light bulb has finally turned on) asks in an almost sad voice “Oh is he your only one?
Me- (trying to hold in the cough that has begun to work itself up my dry, sore throat) answers: "No, he’s one of seven".
Nurse –(oblivious to the fact that I am about to cough up a lung) exclaims “SEVEN! Oh wow, better you than me- I can’t even handle the TWO I have!”
Me- “I’m sorry.”
Nurse- (even more oblivious to the fact that I just secretly slammed her) looks at Kaden (who thankfully is so absorbed into this army men that he doesn’t even look her way) and says “You are one LUCKY little boy you know that?”
Me-(quickly answering before Kaden realizes she is talking to him) “No ma’am, WE are the blessed ones- to have God allow us to parent this precious child”.
The nurse quickly plasters a plastic smile on her pale pink lips and proceeds to wraps up her blood pressure kit and quickly heads out the door, leaving the smell of stale perfume and unwashed behind her.
As I hear the door click shut I look over to Kaden and smile at him. He looks up at me, unaware of the conversation that just went on around him. He smiles back, then and promptly picks up the fruit chew off the floor and stuffs it in his mouth.
“May the God of peace… equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Hebrews 13:20-21
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Okay, I am pretty positive this Thomas Kinkade would look perfect in your living room.
I bet you have just the spot for it don't you?
Go ahead then and send me your best bid- firstname.lastname@example.org. Help me bring someone else's child home!!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Although he's not too fond of my photo sessions he allowed me to take one picture of him before the dance. I was however, strictly forbidden of following him into the dance with my camera. (Guess he's caught onto me now)
On a not so happy note...
Poor Miss Addisyn was also supposed to be at the dance, but instead was stuck at home recovering from the flu. :0( Being sick is so not fun.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Can you do me a favor??
Look over there on the right side of my blog page...
See the Chip in button?
Okay, now take your fingers and flick it really hard...
For some reason the numbers must be stuck- because on my side of the computer it shows the numbers haven't gone up in over a week.
Hello. There are children waiting!!!